YONKERS, N.Y. – Hundreds of Westchester residents hoping to keep their food on ice while power is down headed to Yonkers on Wednesday to get their hands on blocks of frozen carbon dioxide.
Con Edison was at the Empire City Casino, where crews scooped chunks of dry ice from the back of a tractor-trailer, handing them out to people who had been left in the dark thanks to Hurricane Sandy.
With coolers and bags in tow, residents waited in a slow-moving line that stretched through the casino parking lot, hoping to get enough dry ice to save what was left in their refrigerators.
“I’ve got about $1,200 worth of meat I can’t afford to throw away,” said Yonkers resident Miles Post. “I’m hoping I get enough for my two freezers and refrigerators.”
Empire City Casino was one of six locations in New York City and Westchester where the power company handed out wet and dry ice to people without power because of Sandy.
People who had come from as far as New Rochelle and White Plains waited anxiously as a tractor-trailer hauling 16 crates of dry ice rolled into the Empire City parking lot around 3:30 p.m. The truck arrived 3½ hours later than scheduled, but many said it was worth the wait.
“It’s cold out here, but I need to save my food,” said Yonkers resident Hyacinth Williams.
Around Westchester County, more than 202,000 residents were still without power as of Wednesday night and had no definite timetable as to when power would be restored.
In the meantime, Yonkers resident Ralph Bernard said that while his fridge was getting warmer, his house was getting colder. Bernard’s home in the Mohegan Heights neighborhood of Yonkers lost heat when the power went out, and he and his family have been bundling up ever since.
Bernard said that while it wasn't ideal, he was making the best of the situation.
“You just deal with it and do what you have to do to get through it,” he said. “It could’ve been a lot worse.”
Post agreed and said he wasn't getting too worked up over the lost power.
“It’s frustrating, but its nature and there’s nothing you can do about it,” he said. “You can’t put the blame on anybody.”
Still, others said they thought Consolidated Edison could have been more prepared for the effects of Sandy. At the very least, the utility could have distributed dry ice sooner, New Rochelle resident Sandy Klein said.
“They knew the storm was coming,” she said. “You would think they had prepared dry ice in advance. It’s been 48 hours. That’s unacceptable.”